The verb used for the banning or shunning of someone derives from the Greek verb ostrakizein. This was used for the act of selecting someone for banishment by voting with potsherds or tiles that bore the name of the person proposed for this fate. The ultimate origin is thus in Greek ostrakon, 'shell,' 'potsherd,' related to osteon, 'bone,' and ostreon, 'oyster.'

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ostracize — Os tra*cize, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ostracized}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Ostracizing}.] [Gr. ostraki zein, fr. o strakon a tile, a tablet used in voting, a shell; cf. o streon oyster, oste on bone. Cf. {Osseous}, {Oyster}.] 1. (Gr. Antiq.) To exile by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ostracize — index bar (exclude), condemn (ban), defame, denounce (condemn), eliminate (exclude) …   Law dictionary

  • ostracize — (v.) 1640s, from Gk. ostrakizein (see OSTRACISM (Cf. ostracism)). Related: Ostracization; ostracized; ostracizing …   Etymology dictionary

  • ostracize — (Amer.) os·tra·cize || É‘strÉ™saɪz /É’s v. exclude; banish; avoid dealing with; (in ancient Greece) impermanently banish a citizen by popular vote (also ostracise) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • ostracize — *banish, exile, expatriate, deport, transport, extradite …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ostracize — [v] exile, banish avoid, blackball*, blacklist*, boycott, cast out, cold shoulder*, cut, deport, displace, drop, exclude, excommunicate, expatriate, expel, expulse, leave in the cold, oust, reject, shun, shut out, snub, throw out; concepts 25,384 …   New thesaurus

  • ostracize — (also ostracise) ► VERB ▪ exclude from a society or group. DERIVATIVES ostracism noun. ORIGIN Greek ostrakizein, from ostrakon shell or potsherd (on which names were written in voting to banish unpopular citizens) …   English terms dictionary

  • ostracize — [äs′trə sīz΄] vt. ostracized, ostracizing [Gr ostrakizein, to exile by votes written on tiles or potsherds < ostrakon, a shell, potsherd, akin to osteon, bone: see OSSIFY] to banish, bar, exclude, etc. by ostracism SYN. BANISH …   English World dictionary

  • ostracize — os|tra|cize also ostracise BrE [ˈɔstrəsaız US ˈa: ] v [T] [Date: 1800 1900; : Greek; Origin: ostrakizein to send away by voting with broken pieces of pot , from ostrakon broken piece of pot ] if a group of people ostracize someone, they refuse to …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ostracize — UK [ˈɒstrəsaɪz] / US [ˈɑstrəˌsaɪz] verb [transitive] Word forms ostracize : present tense I/you/we/they ostracize he/she/it ostracizes present participle ostracizing past tense ostracized past participle ostracized to stop accepting someone as a… …   English dictionary

  • ostracize — verb To exclude (a person) from society or from a community, by not communicating with them or by refusing to acknowledge their presence; to refuse to talk to or associate with; to shun. Lesbian studies scholar Ramona Oswald has extended this… …   Wiktionary

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